Cannon fires off on shooting

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While I'm not a big fan of crime stories, they're a staple of newspapers, all the way back to the form's earliest days. But they're there, so I read them. (Kind of like the Editorial from the P&C staff. Boring boring stuff that takes balanced no-positionism to a new level.)

However, a crime report in today's P&C is interesting not so much for what is said but for what isn't.

A man shot and killed by a Charleston County Sheriff's deputy on Saturday died from a single gunshot to the back of his neck, the coroner said Sunday.

County Coroner Rae Wooten identified the man as Jeffrey Smith, 34. Authorities say a deputy fired at Smith outside of a Storage Road mobile home Saturday because he refused to drop a rifle, which he had twice fired into the surrounding woods.

Sheriff Al Cannon said the fact Smith was shot in the back of the neck is not the only factor in determining whether the shooting is appropriate. Cannon said the media have indoctrinated the public into thinking it's always improper for authorities to shoot someone from behind or when they're not looking.

"There's all sorts of circumstances where that would be acceptable," he said.

That may certainly be true, but Cannon then fails to mention under what circumstances it would be okay to "shoot someone from behind or when they're not looking." Either Cannon failed to elaborate/declined to elaborate or the P&C reporter failed to ask. If it's the former, that's certainly worth noting. That said, I'm sure readers would like to know when it's okay for a cop to put a bullet in someone's bubblegoose, at the very least so that we know when and when not to turn around.

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